Track the companies that matter to you. It's FREE! Click one of these fan favorites to get started: Apple; Google; Ford.



International Fears and More Speculation Drag Dow Lower

Don't let it get away!

Keep track of the stocks that matter to you.

Help yourself with the Fool's FREE and easy new watchlist service today.

After a few days of no real news earlier in the week, the markets seem to be using up all their stored energy. With the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJINDICES: ^DJI  ) losing 80 points yesterday after spiking in earlier trading, the downward trend continues today. Down 49 points just after 11 a.m. EDT, the index is suffering from more speculation and discouraging international activity.

Outside the U.S.
The Asian markets fell overnight, with the Japanese Nikkei dropping 7.3% by the time the markets closed. With weak manufacturing data from China and increased bond yields in Japan, the pressure on the markets was too great. European markets followed suit, though losses were not as severe. Both the unexpected contraction in China and the eurozone are unsettling to U.S. investors.

Closer to home
With yesterday's ambiguous testimony from Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke on the future of the stimulus program, there is continued speculation that the current policy may be tapered back as soon as next month -- which is helping to send the markets lower this morning. Though Bernanke said that there would be no changes and that the policy would be adjusted as needed, yesterday's release of the latest FOMC meeting minutes showed clear division among members, with some calling for the bond buybacks to be cut soon.

One of the clear statements made by Bernanke is creating some added concern this morning. Since the stimulus program is directed at supporting job growth, Bernanke said that improvements in the labor market would largely drive the decision to begin paring down the program. With this morning's unemployment report showing continued declines in new jobless claims, there is concern that this is the sign the policymakers have been waiting for.

Inside the Dow
Banks with large international components have been hit hard this morning, with both JPMorgan (NYSE: JPM  ) and Bank of America (NYSE: BAC  ) dropping in early trading. As of this writing, the losses are 0.63% for JPM and 0.49% for BAC -- though both have recovered slightly from larger drops within the first hour of trading. Outside the Dow, Citigroup (NYSE: C  ) has also dropped 1.77%. Since it is more focused on international operations than its peers, the bigger drop is to be expected. Although all three banks have operations in Asia that may be suffering from slower economies, operations in other emerging markets have often offset the Asian markets' weakness.

Helping limit the Dow's losses this morning is Hewlett-Packard (NYSE: HPQ  ) . The tech company is soaring after better-than-expected earnings prove that CEO Meg Whitman is heading the company in the right direction. Up 13.3% so far in trading, HP is enjoying the boost from investors' added confidence, despite continued drops in important operating segments. Though revenue was a solid 10% lower than last year, the company produced $0.87 per share in earnings, beating both its guidance of $0.80 to $0.82 and analyst estimates, which fell within that range. Personal systems, which is the company's most important segment, is also the worst-performing -- with a 20% decline in revenues from the previous year. In order to keep shareholders happy with the current turnaround plan, Whitman asked for patience as the company continues to improve its balance sheet. As a reward for that patience, HP raised its dividend for shareholders by 10%.

The massive wave of mobile computing has done much to unseat the major players in the PC market, including venerable technology names like Hewlett-Packard. However, HP's rapidly shifting its strategy under the new leadership of CEO Meg Whitman. But does this make HP one of the least-appreciated turnaround stories on the market, or is this a minor blip on its road to irrelevance? The Motley Fool's technology analyst details exactly what investors need to know about HP in our premium research report. Just click here now to get your copy today.

Read/Post Comments (0) | Recommend This Article (0)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

Be the first one to comment on this article.

Compare Brokers

Fool Disclosure

Sponsored Links

Leaked: Apple's Next Smart Device
(Warning, it may shock you)
The secret is out... experts are predicting 458 million of these types of devices will be sold per year. 1 hyper-growth company stands to rake in maximum profit - and it's NOT Apple. Show me Apple's new smart gizmo!

DocumentId: 2449502, ~/Articles/ArticleHandler.aspx, 9/25/2016 1:52:02 PM

Report This Comment

Use this area to report a comment that you believe is in violation of the community guidelines. Our team will review the entry and take any appropriate action.

Sending report...

Today's Market

updated 1 day ago Sponsored by:
DOW 18,261.45 -131.01 -0.71%
S&P 500 2,164.69 -12.49 -0.57%
NASD 5,305.75 -33.78 -0.63%

Create My Watchlist

Go to My Watchlist

You don't seem to be following any stocks yet!

Better investing starts with a watchlist. Now you can create a personalized watchlist and get immediate access to the personalized information you need to make successful investing decisions.

Data delayed up to 5 minutes

Related Tickers

9/23/2016 4:55 PM
^DJI $18261.45 Down -131.01 -0.71%
BAC $15.52 Down -0.08 -0.51%
Bank of America CAPS Rating: ****
C $47.15 Up +0.04 +0.08%
Citigroup CAPS Rating: ***
HPQ $15.09 Down -0.03 -0.20%
HP CAPS Rating: ***
JPM $67.25 Down -0.14 -0.21%
JPMorgan Chase CAPS Rating: ****